Wood, Pellet or Gas Stove – Which is Best?
Freestanding stoves aren’t just for rustic cabins and old homes. You can lower your heating costs and reduce your environmental impact by installing a stove. That is why homeowners across Colorado are choosing to use a freestanding stove as an alternative heating source.
Today’s stoves are highly efficient with the ability to heat between 1,200 and 2,400 square feet. With energy costs rising and the evidence of global climate change increasing, there has never been a better time to invest in a stove. The biggest question is What type of stove should you invest in?
There are three main types of stoves. They are defined by the kind of fuel they burn: wood, pellet and gas. They are all equally effective heating appliances. The biggest differences between them have to do with maintenance, convenience and fuel cost. The best stove is the one that fits your lifestyle and budget.
Here are the main pros and cons of each type to consider:
Pros: The comforting sound and smell of roaring logs is one reason homeowners love wood-burning stoves. With this stove, you can practically eliminate your heating costs as long as you can gather wood on your property.
Unlike gas and pellet stoves, you can use your wood stove even when the power is out since it doesn’t need any electricity. Wood is an environmentally friendly fuel since it is renewable and carbon-neutral. You can feel good about reducing your impact on climate change.
Cons: The drawback to having a wood-burning stove is that it requires more work. You have to cut and stack logs, clean out ashes, and hire a professional chimney sweep at least once a year to clean creosote out of the chimney.
If you are concerned about the environment, you have to be careful about not contributing to deforestation (this usually is not a problem if you have a large amount of land with waste wood that you can collect). Wood-burning stoves also create more smoke that can pollute the air. To protect the environment, you should make sure to buy a stove that has been certified by the EPA which means that it meets clean air standards.
Pros: The biggest benefit of having a pellet stove is the convenience. You never have to worry about chopping down trees or throwing logs into the fire. Pellets are available in easy to stack bags. Instead of constantly feeding logs into the fire, you only have to pour pellets into the hopper (a metal storage bin inside the stove) every couple of days or less.
Most models have a thermostat that allows you to control the heat. They also have blowers that circulate the heat.
The pellets these stoves burn are made of pieces of compressed, recycled wood that look similar to rabbit food. They burn hotter and cleaner than logs, which mean these stoves use less fuel and produce less smoke.
Cons: The downside to having a pellet stove is that it requires the most maintenance. Pellets produce more ash when they burn so it needs to be cleaned more. If you have a pellet stove, you should make sure the air holes are clear every two or three days, clean out the ashes once or twice every week, and clear out the heat exchanger every month. The mechanical parts, like the motherboard and motors, should be professionally checked at least once a year.
If you or someone in your home has asthma, all of the extra ash and dust it produces can cause respiratory problems.
Pros: Gas stoves are clean burning and even more convenient than pellet stoves. You can choose between models that are controlled by a thermostat or remote control. You can also customize the look of the fire with the ability to choose between different types of model wood sets or firestones.
Cons: The disadvantage of having a gas stove is that it is more expensive to use. Gas is also a fossil fuel which means it isn’t renewable and, even though it produces less smoke, it puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Many people also feel that gas fires lack the ambiance of wood fires.
No matter what type of stove you prefer, you can find the best model for your home at Inglenook Energy Center. We have the best selection of stoves in the Denver area with small and large models in every style from rustic to modern.